Anthony Joshua vs. Jermaine Franklin Boxing Fight Announced for April in London

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 6, 2023

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 05: Anthony Joshua is interviewed ringside at Etihad Arena on November 05, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Francois Nel/Getty Images

Anthony Joshua will be hoping to make a fool out of Jermaine Franklin when he returns to the ring April 1.

Joshua announced Monday that he has agreed to fight Franklin in London later this year.

Anthony Joshua @anthonyjoshua

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The former heavyweight champion is coming off two straight losses to Oleksandr Usyk, with the most recent coming last August. Joshua has lost three of his last five fights dating back to his upset loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in June 2019.

"I am looking forward to stepping back into the ring on April 1 at The O2 London," Joshua said. "Mentally and physically, I feel ready. I want to put on a show and impress my coach, as he has high standards. Franklin has a good style and great attitude, which he has shown in recent fights."

Joshua will walk into the April Fools' Day fight as an overwhelming favorite. Franklin is 21-1 over his career but has not fought many high-profile bouts and is coming off a loss to Dillian Whyte last November.

It's likely Joshua's camp views the fight against Franklin as a chance for the 33-year-old to rebound before he goes back on the chase for championship gold. Former UFC champion Francis Ngannou has been mentioned as a potential future opponent for Joshua, and getting a win against Franklin would help increase the purse of the proposed crossover bout.

Ngannou is currently weighing his future fighting options after leaving the UFC in January.